BY SARA TABIN
Daily Post Staff Writer
Palo Alto City Council tonight became the latest government body to be hit with profanities over the teleconferencing platform Zoom.
During a discussion of council’s environmental goals, the public was invited to chime in. While former Planning Commissioner Arthur Keller was speaking, somebody started talking over him repeatedly saying “Praise Kek.” Kek is the deity of a religion the white nationalist movement has created, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Then the caller made a raspberry sound and yelled the n-word before his mic was cut. The caller sounded like a teenage boy.
So-called “Zoom bombings” have been reported around the country now that many people use Zoom for holding remote meetings.
Hackers yelled profanities and projected x-rated images on-screen during the Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors’ video meeting on April 4. The hackers drew genitals on the VTA’s screen and shared a photo of a swastika and pornography.
Unlike the VTA meeting, Palo Alto wasn’t hacked. Instead, the profane commenter got in the same way as normal commenters by requesting to talk online.
Mayor Adrian Fine warned the council that he thought some of the commenters might not be legitimate. Fine told the Post he had a list of virtual meeting public speakers. The profane commenter had chosen the name “Dwayne the C*** Johnson.”
Fine closed public comments after the profane commenter was cut off.
“It’s really quite sad, honestly,” Fine told the Post of the Zoom bombing. “We’re doing our best to conduct the city’s business.”